The Second Floor Wine Tasting Group

June 27, 2004

We gathered at Sunny's place; Peter brought us Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Barolo to try.

The Wines

  1. 1998 Barolo (Piedmont, Italy) by Marchesi - $47
  2. 1999 Barolo (Piedmont, Italy) by Morando - $20
  3. 1999 Zinfandel (California, U.S.) by Camelot - $10
  4. 1998 Zinfandel (Russian River Valley, California, U.S.) by Burgess - $33
  5. 1997 Pinot Noir (Nuits Saint Georges, Burgundy, France) by Robert Arnoux - $35
  6. 2000 Pinot Noir (Oregon, U.S.) by Panther Creek - $21

The People

Jason, Helen, Greg, Jeff, Peter, Sunny, Rosanna


We tasted six reds made of three different grapes: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Nebbiolo. The Pinot Noirs were from Oregon and Burgundy. The Oregon (#6) was easy-going and food friendly, maybe a bit overpowered by the heavy BBQ flavors. The Burgundy (#5) seemed past its prime---nearly everyone disliked it. The Zins were both from California. The Burgess (#4) was the heaviest wine of the night with all-the-dials-turned-up. The Camelot was heavy, but drinkable and went well with the BBQ. The Barolos (#1, #2) seemed thin for what is considered Piedmont's primere wine region, but were both juicy and enjoyable.

#5 was the only wine that everyone agreed on. It was terrible. Jeff was the only only one with a dissenting opinion. He savored what it was and called it an "aging diva with the shab of a faded starlet"---like Gloria Swanson. Sunny said it was harsh and bitter. Rosana noted rotting flavors. Greg noted prune and date on the nose, but said it was past prime and found no fruit on the palette. Peter called it "spent, shallow." Jason noted herb, hot dog and manure smells and a hard, burnt, icky taste. Helen noted leather and thought it to be older.

#1 and #2 were both considered to be excellent wines by many. #1 got the highest marks; #2 was close behind. Jason noted a dark, juicy nose to #1 and little smell to #2. He said #1 was juicy, but watery with moderate tannin and acidity. #2 had mild effervescence and spice on the palette with moderate to strong tannin and acidity. Helen noted good acidity and low tannin in both wines; called them "happy, and not overwhelming." She said that #1 was "rounded" while #2 was "flatter/thinner." Sunny said both wines were balanced and had cherry flavors. Greg though both were nice. He said that #1 had cherry/berry flavors, was tangy and juicy and had no tannin. In #2 he found again found cherry, alongside earthy/leathery flavors and less fruit. He though #2 more "robust." Jeff didn't want to think about #1, he simply found it enjoyable---some spice, some fruit, enjoyable. To him, #2 was thinner and had an earthy quality. Rosana didn't like #1---too acidy. She loved #2 and thought it went great with the kielbasa.

#3 and #4 showed different character even though both were Zins. #3 was easier on the palette. #4 was heavier, a "trash talking" wine with some serious "smack," as Sunny put it. Jeff called #3 fruity, rough and loud, like "rough sex" or a rough outside and teddy bear inside. #4 was "wow, wow," "big," good with BBQ according to him. Rosana compared #3 to harsh, flavored water; "intense," she said. She noted fresh, floral and sweet flavors in #4. In #3 Jason found a barnyard smell, with medium-high acidity and body and a distinct medicine flavor. In #4 he found a complex juicy, barnyard, black cherry and lily aroma; the taste had spice, fruit and all-the-dials-turned-up. Helen called #3 big, juicy, earthy, well rounded, thick and tanniny. She said that #4 was so big that she didn't know what to do with it; she felt that it was having an identity crisis; it had sour, manure, trashy, rotten and overripe tomato flavors. Sunny called both strong and full; she noted blackberry and prun in #3; #4 was stronger with good fruit---probably great with spicy/rich food. Greg noted blackberry jam and prune flavors in #3; he said it was intense with medium acidity and low tannin; he called #4 simple and younger with leather and dark berry flavors and noticable tannin. Peter called #3 "intelligent," grassy and herbal; he said that #4 was "close to perfection"---bold and intense with deep berry flavors.

Last but not least, #6 was a popular wine. Helen noted earthy, leathery flavors. Jason noted a smoky aroma; he thought it juicy, slightly effervescent and acidy on the palette. Peter called #6 delightful, rich and rounded with leather; he thought it would go well with food. Jeff thought #6 lighter than #5, but enjoyable with spice, fruit and rasperry flavors; he thought it would go well with a turkey dinner. Greg noted berry, musty and fruit flavors and enjoyed the mouthfeel. Rosana called #6 light, but enjoyable; she thought it'd be a great match with roasted chicken with garlic. Sunny called #6 rich, fruity and very nice; she noted cherry flavors and gave it "two stars."

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Last modified: Sun Dec 5 12:15:51 2004